Keratin Treatment vs Rebonding: Which Removes Frizz Best for Curly Wavy Hair?

Published on Sep 01, 2021

Curls Curls Curls - many of us who have them find ourselves having a love-hate relationship with our curly hair. Yes, curls are beautiful because they add volume and personality to our hair but, in reality, they are a difficult mess to manage in hot and humid Singapore.

It is no wonder many of us turn to straightening options to temporarily or permanently remove those curls. 

What are those options? No need to scour hair salons for them. Here's a detailed explanation of what straightening options are available in Singapore. 

Major Straightening Options

In general, there are TWO main ways of straightening or defrizzing curly hair. The first is by Rebonding and the second, Keratin Treatment. Innovative salons have come up with hybrid Rebonding / Keratin Treatment solutions, which now forms the third way of defrizzing hair. Within each option, though, there are many other alternatives.


Salons offer a plethora of Rebonding options from Volume Rebonding and Setting Perm to Rebonding Perm, C Curl Rebonding and Soft Rebonding. All these differ more in style than in process. 

For Rebonding, the process goes like this:

1) Rebonding Cream is applied to the hair to break the existing hair bonds.

2) A flat iron is used to reset the hair bonds and make the hair straight.

3) A final neutralizer is then applied to reform the bonds.

In recent years, people have been demanding more and more natural-looking Rebonding rather than stick-straight hairstyles. So, many "natural Rebonding" have now incorporated a perm at the ends for a more voluminous hairstyle. Different salons call it different things - Setting Perm or Rebonding Perm. 

Advances in technology have also allowed Rebonding now to be much less damaging as the creams become more effective and less heat is required to straighten the hair.

Keratin Treatment

The second form of straightening treatment is Keratin. This is a non-permanent straightening option that works by wrapping a layer of keratin around the hair

The process goes like this:

1) Pre-treatment removes surface build-up and prepares the cuticle so the keratin can penetrate the hair

2) The hydrolysed keratin that penetrates the hair cuticle strengthens it by wrapping itself around the hair

3) Heat is then applied to the hair to seal the layer of keratin

There are also many different types of Keratin Treatment from Hair Botox and Brazilian Blowout to Cinderella Treatment. We have an article explaining the difference between hair botox, brazilian blowout and keratin treatment here so read on if you want to find out more.

Which is the better option to defrizz curly hair?

The answer depends on your needs and your preferences.

Rebonding is the best anti-frizz treatment for you if:

1. You don't like curly hair and want to permanently eliminate your curls

You're pretty sure that you are not a curls person and all you want is voluminous straight hair!

Volume Rebonding at Michaela Japanese Hair Salon

2. You want to sculpt the curls into a style you like

Don't like your curly hair but don't want hair that is stick straight? No problem.

Stylists can combine perming and Rebonding techniques to give you straight mid-length hair and curly ends. The most common styles include C-curl or S-curl Rebonding.

C Curve Rebonding is one of the most popular types of Volume Rebonding because it is convenient and easy to manage. It basically involves Rebonding the top and perming the ends to create C-shaped curls that curve inwards. To accommodate this style, the cut is heavy and does not have many layers.

C-Curl Rebonding at Picasso Hair Studio

Like Volume Rebonding that looks more like a perm than Rebonding, S Curve Rebonding Rebonds the top and perms the body and the ends to create S-shaped curls. The cut has many layers to create the effect of piles of soft curls. 

S Curve Rebonding has a more romantic, feminine look while making sure that the top of your hair is manageable! The curls are also the most defined among the different types of Volume Rebonding available.

S-Curl Rebonding at Picasso Hair Studio

3. You want your hair to have volume and feel light 

Keratin Treatment coats the hair with keratin. While this helps to reduce frizziness, it also weighs the hair down, reducing volume on the whole. If your hair is already very fine and sparse, this may cause your hair volume to reduce quite a bit. 

Rebonding on the other hand allows the stylist to control hair volume by tweaking the level of straightness or curls within the hair. A good stylist can include some gentle curls to make the hair feel voluminous without making it heavy. 

This is what Focus Hairdressing did with their Blowout Perm that can be done even on hair that is treated with henna!

Read on for Agent Shub's Blowout Perm at Focus Hairdressing to find out more!

4. You're looking to colour your hair or do additional chemical treatments in the future

As Keratin Treatment coats the hair, it makes it harder for colour to penetrate. Doing a colour soon after Keratin Treatment also causes the keratin to fade off faster. 

If you love to change your hair colour or do hair retouches often, you may want to opt for Rebonding rather than Keratin Treatment as the latter will not affect your future hair colours.

This is what Agent S did - rebonding perm at Act Point Salon and a few months later, hair colouring at Risel Japanese Hair Salon.

Colour at Risel Japanese Hair Salon

5. You want a budget-conscious option that doesn't require too much maintenance

Keratin Treatment is getting more popular in Singapore but most salons still do more Rebonding. So, prices for Keratin Treatment still tends to be higher, especially when you consider that Keratin Treatment tends to require you to go back to the salon faster than Rebonding. 

In addition, Keratin Treatment requires you to use the corresponding Keratin Shampoo to ensure that the effect lasts 3-6 months. Using straighteners or swimming often will also affect how fast the keratin fades. If you don't want to have to worry about all that, Rebonding is possibly the more hassle-free option.

Rebonding at Do My Hair Salon

6. You want a 100% Formaldehyde-free straightening option

Only formaldehyde-free Keratin Treatments are allowed in Singapore. Unfortunately, many of these formaldehyde-free keratin solutions use a formaldehyde derivative called methylene glycol which still releases low amounts of formaldehyde with application of heat. 

When inhaled, such fumes may cause allergic reactions and even cancer after prolonged exposure. This has even led to lawsuits in the US. Here's a list of brands that use formaldehyde compiled by EWG

For pregnant women or ladies with sensitive scalp, Rebonding is still possibly the safer choice. 

Zero Fumes during Volume Rebonding at The Space Korean Hair Salon

Keratin Treatment is the best anti-frizz treatment for you if:

1. You love your curls but want it defrizzed

As you can see, Keratin Treatment need not make your hair super straight.

Keratin Treatment at Picasso Hair Studio

2. You want your hair to look shiny and glossy after the treatment

Keratin Treatments wrap a layer of keratin over your existing hair. This adds a layer of shine and gloss that you won't get to see with Rebonding!

Keratin Treatment at Flamingo Hair Studio

3. Your hair is very damaged

Rebonding itself breaks existing hair bonds so that it can be resculpted. This causes additional damage that some bleached hair may not be able to endure. For highly damaged hair, Keratin Treatment or Brazilian Blowout may be the last resort as they coat the hair and make it at least possible for you to comb through!

Keratin Treatment at Gene by Ginrich

4. You don't mind coming back every 3-6 months to redo your Keratin Treatment

The biggest downside to Keratin Treatment is that it is only temporary. We've heard of Keratin Treatments whose effects last only 1 month and others which can last as long as 8 months, like what happened for Agent C at Chez Vous Hair Salon.

Hair Botox at Chez Vous Hair Salon

For most, however, it should last 3-4 months.

Brazilian Blowout at The Bund

How long it lasts really boils down to how well your stylist knows your hair and which Keratin Treatment he uses. That's one of the reasons we love Chez Vous Hair Salon, The Bund Hair Salon and Be Salon. All 3 salons carry a huge variety of keratin solution so there'll always be one that can best cater to your hair type.

5. You don't want to see strange kinks when your natural hair grows out

Rebonding may be permanent on existing hair that is straightened but it is unable to make sure that new hair that grows out is straight. The result is a kink at the point the rebonding was previously done. 

That means it is necessary to go back every 3-4 months to do a Rebonding touch-up for the roots. So, you are kind of stuck with Rebonding your whole life until you decide to take several years to grow your hair out. 

Keratin Treatment at The Bund

If you're a little of each, you may want to consider hybrid Rebonding+Keratin Treatment offered by selected salons like Be Salon. 

Hybrd Soft Keratin by Be Salon

Team Keratin Treatment or Team Rebonding?

On Team Keratin Treatment?, Read about our article on Keratin Treatment vs Brazilian Blowout vs Cinderella Treatment.

On Team Rebonding? Read about our article on Volume Rebonding vs Soft Rebonding vs S Curl Rebonding vs C Curl Rebonding.

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